NOV
07
0

Here's A Proposal Your Prospect Can't Refuse

You are in sales, but more important you are in the value creation business . You want to help your prospect make a positive decision to do business with you. When you reach the stage of submitting a proposal it will come at the moment you have laid the foundation for a positive decision. The moment comes after… You have had a positive introduction . This may come in the form of a referral, a testimonial, or relevant marketing you shared that appealed to the buyer. You have built rapport . This is where you establish credibility. Your appearance, reputation, and ease that you converse with the prospect sets the tone. You are subtly selling your integrity, and nothing else. You have discovered the wants and needs of the prospect . This is the most overlooked and underdeveloped aspect of the sales process. This is where you discover wants and...
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  176 Hits
176 Hits
OCT
29
0

Are These Sales Statistics Blowing Your Mind?

A recent HubSpot blog post titled  73 Mind Blowing Sales Statistics   caught my eye and it should interest you. With each statistic there is a story, which should lead to a series of questions. STATISTIC: 42% of salespeople consider prospecting the most challenging part of the sales process. If I am your sales coach I would ask you : When was the last time you asked your sales team about their biggest challenge(s)? How were the challenges addressed? If it’s prospecting, why is that? Is there a lack of communication with marketing and sales about the best type of accounts to target? How often do you review your sales plan? Are the salespeople unwilling to follow the sales plan? STATISTIC: 60% of buyers want to discuss price on the first call. If I am your sales coach I would ask you : Does price come up because your salesperson...
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  239 Hits
239 Hits
SEP
23
0

Purposeful Selling Step #4: Don't Sell Out

After completing the  Core-Values-Exercise in Step #3, what did you learn about yourself? How will it impact your life, not just your career? The hiring process used today rarely brings up core values. The focus is typically on skills, prior work experience, accomplishments and your ability to carry out bullet-pointed objectives on the job description. Imagine going on a job interview and leading a conversation about your core values? Your job satisfaction and career growth are tied to whether your values are congruent with your work. DON’T SELL OUT! We are fortunate to live in an era where we are raising consciousness about business culture. The odds of finding a business that publicizes its core values is growing. Look at Zappos , Whole Foods Market , and The Container Store as national brands that strongly believe in their purpose and commit to living their values as guiding principles in the...
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  173 Hits
173 Hits
AUG
28
0

Purposeful Selling Step #3: Integrate Core Values Into Your Work

HubSpot published an article titled “ The Biggest Threat to Sales Teams in 2018 Isn't Losing Clients .” The biggest threat is losing members of their sales team. The article says that average sales rep tenure sits at 1.5 years according to the Bridge Group , and offers reasons for why this number is low. This is a threat because of the financial and emotional costs. Is this shocking to you? One of the reasons salespeople are leaving is because job satisfaction is low . Until businesses take the time to understand the behaviors and culture that elevate job satisfaction this statistic will linger. Although there are multiple factors that go into job satisfaction, here’s one way to proactively attack this problem and it applies to businesses and individual sales performers. UNDERSTAND, ARTICULATE, AND LIVE YOUR CORE VALUES     CORE VALUE : A principle without which life wouldn’t be...
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  214 Hits
214 Hits
AUG
14
0

Purposeful Selling Step #2: Create a Dynamic Personal Brand

In Purposeful Selling Step #1, “ Know thyself ” you took the time to understand: The natural talents you have based on how you think and make decisions How you prefer to use your talents based on your natural behavioral style Why are you motivated to use your talents based on your drivers of engagement You have positioned yourself for success based on this heightened level of self- awareness. COACHING TIP : In a purposeful organization, “knowing thyself” should not be limited to the sales department. The CEO, CMO, VP of Sales and all others in the sales process who impact the customer should be included. Purposeful organizations shun the stereotypical organizational chart. You are working together toward a common cause (purpose). Hierarchies with authoritarian leadership kill the purposeful spirit. The next step is deciding how you want to be known in an unforgettable way. You may work alone, in...
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  215 Hits
215 Hits
AUG
06
0

Purposeful Selling Step #1: Know Thyself

“Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.” -Lao Tzu, Chinese Taoist Philosopher (this is the 1st in a series of 7 steps)  When looking at the performance of a sales organization you need to consider several metrics. The goals and objectives set forth by the organization, and the characteristics and capabilities of the individuals doing the work. It’s not uncommon to see a mismatch in these metrics. Let me give you an example. ACME Corporation requires their salespeople cold-call 100 new prospects weekly. They have calculated that their sales funnel needs 100 calls that will convert to their desired number of sales. Upon closer review only 20% of the sales team reaches that number and the rest struggle. Why is that? The worst assumption made in Sales is that all salespeople are the same. Of course they are not. There are certain types of personalities who naturally work...
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  334 Hits
334 Hits
AUG
02
0

The 7 Steps of Purposeful Selling

In the next few weeks I will introduce the 7 Steps of Purposeful Sellin g . In my preparation for this series I continued to have this recurring question: Why should anyone care ? Your skepticism is respected. To give this subject context, let’s think about changes that have occurred in sales in the past few decades: People do NOT want to be sold The buyer interacts with the salesperson much later in the buying process Salespeople need to educate, and be seen as subject matter experts Curiosity and discovery are important attributes for the salesperson Listening trumps talking/pitching Business development is relationship development In spite of your title, we are all in sales now The salesperson who will excel today is different than those in the past. Think of the stereotypical phrases applied to previous generations of salespeople; “must be an extrovert,” or “motivated by money,” or “has to...
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  313 Hits
313 Hits
JUN
22
0

The Joy of Sales and Marketing Alignment

In the world of Business to Business (B2B) selling few things guarantee success more than sales and marketing alignment. Alignment is easier said than done. With respect to John Gray , is it possible that Sales is from Mars and Marketing from Venus? The personalities leading each department dictate the level of communication, cooperation, and ability to see things from the other’s perspective. Each person within the sales/marketing domain should have specific personality traits and motivations that will contribute to the team. When sales and marketing drift apart, revenue declines and friction increases. When sales and marketing work together you will see success in the following areas: Content from Marketing is speaking directly to the prospective customer . The sales department is able to start more sales conversations based on their ability to uncover needs. The more relevant the marketing content, and the more it is tailored for the buyer,...
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  430 Hits
430 Hits
JUN
11
0

These Questions Will Help Your Sales Reps Reach Quota

Achieving quota requires having the right people aligned with sales objectives and the right processes to get your desired results. On the other hand, distractions, time wasting activities, and zero time scheduled for training and development leads to a variety of unintended consequences. A voice from outside your sales organization can ask critical questions to keep performers focused on the important tasks that are aligned with sales goals. When working with your organization I would ask the following of each of your producers… What are you trying to accomplish in the next 6 months? One year? Two years? This requires understanding personal aspirations. Have a consistent, two-way dialogue based on trust. This impacts sales retention. What part of your job is most challenging, and why? Sales is an ego driven business, yet all salespeople have blind spots in addition to their strengths. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1...
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  430 Hits
430 Hits
JUN
05
0

Sales Professional's Daily Checklist

_  Thank a current customer. _  Share a piece of relevant content via email or social media. _  Connect people in your network. _  Find a boss who can’t live without you. _  Use your best personal attributes often. _  Match your passion to your desire to solve a problem. _  Give gifts that change people, without expectation of reciprocity. _  Resist your Lizard Brain . _  Accomplish 3 tasks related to your One Big Project this year. _  Become indispensable. _  Act with dignity.
0
  329 Hits
329 Hits
MAY
30
0

3 Components of an Effective Value Proposition

“ A value proposition is a clear statement of the business outcomes someone will get while using your service .” – Jill Konrath The terms “elevator pitch” and “30-second commercial” are outdated in comparison to value proposition. The words pitch and commercial imply a message from the seller with no concern for the buyer. You cannot capture and maintain people’s attention by focusing solely on what you do. I represent ACME fertilizer company and I sell great, cheap fertilizer. Great salespeople deliver value. Great salespeople understand the outcomes their prospects and clients desire. Great salespeople have effective value propositions that lead to sales conversations and higher closing ratios. Here are 3 components you must have in your value proposition: A reference to something your prospect measures . Things like; new client acquisition, sales revenue, average sale size, account attrition. Movement . Clients want you to change something. Will you help...
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  487 Hits
487 Hits
MAY
21
0

Are You a Sales Genius?

Look at where you are in your sales career. Are you working at your appropriate level, earning what you are supposed to earn, doing what you are supposed to do? Do you work in an environment of high expectations, or something else? If you are given permission to share your sales genius what would you tell us? Some sales organizations allow for maximum creativity, decision making, and autonomy ( see The Ritz Carlton’s $2,000 rule). Others demand conformity, and close adherence to the rules. Absolutely no coloring outside the lines.  To quote Seth Godin , “ there are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you what to do .” The Sales profession needs your genius. You are capable of insight, invention, or connection that makes a difference that is unique to you. Share it. Spread it. Teach it.  Your Genius + Environment = Indispensable. Where are you...
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0
  459 Hits
459 Hits
APR
17
0

Are Great Salespeople Born or Made?

My answer: I don't know and I don't care (insert smiley face emoji). I'm not trying to be a wise ass.  I believe this is the wrong question to ask. Let's try these... What are your sales goals and objectives?  Have you assembled your sales team by choosing the right people with the right motivations and talents to achieve stated goals and objectives? See the difference?  Salespeople have personality DNA and you don't need a scientist or laboratory to figure it out. Recently I worked with a client who wanted to clone his top sales performer. We had the salesperson take a personality profile to learn more about their DNA. Doesn't it make sense to understand your top performer's traits, then look for the same when recruiting and interviewing?   When you look at the chart below and subsequent comments you get information about the motivations of the individual. The numbers...
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1
  585 Hits
585 Hits
MAR
26
0

10 Part Series - Must Have Sales Skills in 2018, Skill #3: Get to the truth...faster!

You presented a proposal to ACME Corporation ten days ago. The meeting was cordial and things seem to have gone well. An agreement was not reached. Now comes the waiting game. When will it close?                                                                           Why hasn’t it closed? Have you ever made a presentation that ended without a decision? “Let me think it over.” “I need to run this by Bob/Sue/Kenny/Jen.” “Call me in two weeks.” This is a problem prospects share with me consistently. It’s important to emphasize that there isn’t one cause for this problem. Let’s consider what may be happening when running into this stall. HubSpot brought to my attention the phrase “ the buyer’s journey ” which has significance...
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  475 Hits
475 Hits
MAR
12
0

10 Part Series - Must Have Sales Skills in 2018, Skill #2 Question Your Way to the Sale

“ My focus is not on selling…I simply help clients buy what they need. I am always in problem solving mode, and that puts me on the client’s side of the table .” – Don Ray, management consultant The buying/selling process begins with an introduction and an exchange of information about the buyer’s business and the seller’s product or service. It’s more informal than formal as each side assesses whether there is a level of trust and credibility to engage in a deeper conversation. A warm referral can speed up this process, otherwise you can take something from your education based marketing materials (blog post, relevant article about their business) to move the process forward. What happens next is often the place where sales are won and lost. In this series of blog posts about Must Have Sales Skills in 2018 the ability to question your way to the sale...
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  630 Hits
630 Hits
FEB
26
0

10-part Series - Must Have Sales Skills in 2018 Skill #1: Awareness of your communication style

  “Self-awareness is a key to self-mastery” – Gretchen Rubin   How well do you know your salespeople? How well do they know themselves? The two rhetorical questions I hear consistently from prospects are: How do I find great salespeople? How do I retain great salespeople? Although there are a multitude of issues facing sales organizations the answer to these questions can be perplexing. Why is that? From a hiring perspective you should rely less on resumes. Social media profiles provide some insight into how a prospective salesperson communicates and makes decisions. The remainder of the work you must do to find great salespeople is in the interviewing process. There are ways to understand a candidate’s communication style. They can fall into four different categories; Decisive individuals tend to be more demanding, forceful and determined in their communication. Interactive individuals thrive on being around others and are inclined to share...
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0
  646 Hits
646 Hits
FEB
09
0

5 "Must Have" Attributes for Salespeople, and Sales Managers

90% of the performance issues in sales organizations are people related. Are the right people in the right positions on the team? Are the best producers happy and motivated to stay? Why do some struggle more than others? How do you find great salepeople? These questions are common and people focused.  The Sales Producer's Blog advocates understanding natural skills and attributes of the sales producers in your organization.The mission of this sales coaching practice states: " to identify and develop coachable sales professionals ." There are consistent attributes in the most successful sales people and sales managers. They may not be visible to the eye, or picked up in a conversation or interview. But, they can be measured.  5 Must Have Attributes for Salespeople :  Personal Accountability . High scores reflect their interest in identifying the cause of a bad decision. No excuses.  Attitude Toward Honesty . This measures their...
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  678 Hits
678 Hits
JAN
30
0

WORKSHOP: How do you bring out the best in people?

The great organizations in this new economy will be those that realize that intellectual capital is the new “most important” asset, and change their management principles accordingly. – Jay Niblick, President, Innermetrix, Inc. What if: You could determine how someone values the world around them? You understood someone’s natural talents based on how they think and make decisions? You understood what motivated them to use those talents? You understood how someone prefers to use those talents? You can! Let's schedule a workshop that will address these questions. Our intellectual economy rewards those who understand the intangible assets of their people. These assets are increasing in value. Understanding the natural talents an individual possesses effects who you hire and how you lead them. Who will benefit from this workshop? Groups of people who are evaluated based on achieving specific business objectives, such as: Executive teams Managers Teams in Sales, Customer Service...
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  653 Hits
653 Hits
JAN
25
2

Are You Focused On Client Needs, or Sales Quotas?

Ask a salesperson to describe the problem they solve. You may get a puzzled look, a client focused solution, or something in between. The stereotypical sales person, or worse “order taker” doesn’t know or care about the problems clients are facing. They are interested in generating transactions and hitting quota. “ Nobody is going to buy from you because you need the money ,” bestselling author and speaker Bob Burg says. “ They’re not even going to buy from you because you’re a really nice person who believes in your product and thinks they should have it .” The current trend in sales is to develop subject matter experts (SME’s). This new version of a sales professional uses expertise and influence to “coach” decisions based on understanding client needs. Establishing trust and credibility at the outset of a relationship is paramount to having success. SME’s don’t have quick fixes. Your...
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1
  621 Hits
621 Hits
JAN
16
0

Want my advice about sales? Here are some tips you can take to the bank!

Stumble. Fall. Get up. Repeat. This is the way we learn valuable lessons in life. A career in sales is no different. My sales career has spanned the pre-internet era to present day. Change is constant. Increased transparency has brought sunlight to the buyer-seller relationship. Knowledge, creativity, and collaborative skills are in demand.     To my friends, clients, professional peers, college graduates, and people transitioning in their career I offer this advice about the sales profession; The best sales jobs are the ones that have high quality people in sales management positions. Let's discuss what you should look for when considering a position in sales, customer service or a call center.  If the most attractive part of a new sales job offer is the income potential, you are using the wrong metric. People, purpose, professional development, and culture must be factored in. If you have gone more than six months...
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  572 Hits
572 Hits